Hybridge Prettau Zirconia Bridge

There have been several significant advancements in dentistry that the dental industry would consider to be game changers. Over a decade ago, Zirconia was introduced to the dental world as a ceramic material intended to be utilized for the fabrication of Zirconia crowns and Prettau Zirconia bridges.

Zirconia (not to be confused with zircon), is a white crystalline oxide of zirconium. It is a silicate mineral, which is found primarily in Australia and Brazil. Zirconia crystals are compressed into a block, or puck, which has a chalk-like consistency. In this “greenstick” form, Zirconia can be carved and milled into any shape desired. In order to create a structure strong enough to withstand the forces of chewing, the greenstick Zirconia is sintered or baked in a furnace until it transforms into its hardened form. 

Zirconia Puck Milled Sintered

 

Zirconia Bridge h155Although Zirconia in its raw form is pure white, it is possible to stain it before sintering to achieve a more tooth-like appearance. Pink porcelains mimic the appearance of gum tissue. To make the smile look completely natural, other types of porcelain are baked over the surface of Zirconia. This can be done since it doesn't have to be layered over metal. While this layering adds beauty, it also increases the chance that the surface may chip over time.  Layering also dramatically increases the cost of the restoration so you should be mindful of these considerations if considering Zirconia as your choice of material.

Zirconia Crowns h124Zirconia crowns are an excellent solution for patients that put excessive forces on their teeth from grinding and clenching, and therefore risk breakage.  The strength and durability of Zirconia is unmatched in this application and is even higher than most dental metals. With this, Zirconia can also be used for Full Arch implant restorations with great success as a solution for those dental patients that grind teeth or even clench teeth while sleeping.

Zirconia Hybridge is one of three materials available for Hybridge full arch restorations depending on the prescription of the treating dentist.  Patients are educated on the strength advantages as well as the disadvantages of the material compared to the other materials used.  Of significance, is the perceptive feel of Zirconia when attached to implants.  Because there isn’t any give as there is with natural teeth, Zirconia has a tendency to feel hard and unforgiving.  Some patients have used the word “clanky,” or loud.

Julia Upper Zirconia

Julie lost her upper natural teeth because of damage over the years caused by tooth grinding, also known as bruxing.

When discussing her treatment objectives, she was clear that she wanted to be worry-free about the impact her grinding would have on her restoration in the long-term. Because of its unmatched strength, Zirconia was an excellent material choice for Julie’s upper Hybridge full arch restoration.

Amanda Upper Front Zirconia TeethAmanda was in a devastating school bus accident, which resulted in facial trauma, including the loss, and damage of a number of her upper front teeth.  Dental implants were used to support a Zirconia bridge that replaces five teeth.  As a result of the accident, not only did Amanda lose her front teeth, but she also had damage to her gum line.

 

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